About this project
The Winter (Ο Χειμώνας)
This winter in a remote Greek mountain town, the brave little crew of Melancholy Star will shoot a film in a notoriously haunted house. Using family ghost stories, the economic crisis, and a bit of creative license, we've woven a spooky, eccentric story into a feature film seasoned with a rich artistic sensibility.
With the Greek economy in tatters, we are self-funding to get through the shoot as independently as possible. Right now we've got distribution secured, a stellar greek cast, a talented international crew, music with a cult following, and a lot of public support building. To make it all happen, we just need to get our crew to the set - and we'll manage the rest!
This will be the first Greek-language fantasy film to feature Hollywood-level VFX, something completely new for cinema in Greece. As there are some very exciting independent projects emerging there, we're looking to join the Greek New Wave with a uniquely romantic and visually inspired approach.
Shooting begins in November 2011 in London and Greece, and that's when we'll need the most financial support, as we pay the star actors, cover travel costs, feed and house the crew and cast locally, and perfect the props, costumes, and scenery.
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WHAT WE'VE GOT:
1. A Great Cast - Greek cinema stalwarts Vaggelis Mourikis, Efi Papatheodorou, and Titika Sarijouli, as well as cult figures Sadahzinia and B.D. Foxmoor, and a handful of exciting newcomers.
2. A Beautiful Soundtrack - With a gorgeous, soulful double album already composed for the film by B.D Foxmoor/Active Member, we know the sound of the film will be incredible. Besides giving us authentic Greek music for the film, Active Member are acting as co-producers, helping us find support and audiences in Greece.
3. High-end Visual FX - Since we run our own VFX/3D company, we can guarantee stunning visual effects in the ghostly occurrences and fantasy sequences.
4. A Solid Crew - In addition to a promising Director, we've got incredible camera and lighting support from Poland, plus the talent of up and coming DOP Kuba Kossak, and a plucky NY production manager. An award-winning production designer, a talented and resourceful costumer, and the perfect location bring great value to the look of the film.
5. A Weird and Wonderful Script - Written by Elizabeth and Kostas, with writer Jakub Woroszylski, the film will be taking us to an area of Greece never before seen in film, exploring some lesser know local traditions, with oddities inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, Poe, and a little Hitchcock. Addressing the current unrest from a creative angle, we address the crisis from the point of view of the expat returning home.
6. Post-Production & Editing - We've got these already sorted out, which is often the most expensive part of the film. Our Editor/Producer is Paweł Witecki, founder and head of production studio - MASTERSHOT - pioneer of Digital Cinema technology in Poland. His knowledge, experience and technological support helped creating a lot of award-winning popular films there. Winner of the award for Best Editing, on the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia.
7. Distribution - Distributors are in place for Europe & Eastern Europe, Greece, the UK, and we are in talks for US distribution.
8. Audience - Our social media network is growing by leaps and bounds every week. Already, we have found local support in Greece, from the community and online, and it's great to see audiences already excited to watch the film!
9. Finances - We've worked hard at saving up and gathering all the funds we've needed for equipment and to make it through the shoot, just a little bit more and we'll be set to travel. After that, we've got all the post production support arranged, and we're in talks with lots of serious sponsors for the future.
So, we know it will have great visuals, great editing, great sound, and it will get shown, and all we need to do now is get it shot!
We're looking to raise funds specifically to transport our kit and crew from London to Greece during the shoot. This is a big chunk of our budget (flights, car rental, gas, and insurance) and it would be great to know we've got it completely covered, so we can focus on getting a great shoot in the can.
Since we'll be shooting in tough (and spooky) conditions on a very low budget, we've picked out a few critical crew members that are especially adept at their jobs, and together we're all focused on using our limited resources the very best we can.
Your funds will help use get these hardy folks on the set with us. It's going to be an amazing experience, and we believe we'll have an incredible film for you.
The house has been in the Koutsoliotas family for generations (except for a brief period where it was lost in a bet, we think.) It has now been abandoned for over ten years, and the ownership has passed into Kostas' name when his father retired. Kostas did briefly live in the house as a child. The origins of the house are hazy, though it's known to have been built by black marketeers. Rumors that the Church buried treasure in the house still run in the family.
That would be amazing! Even the smallest amounts help. Small amounts give a crew member a warm bed for the night during filming, or feed and house a volunteer helper for the duration shoot. Larger will allow us to add a professional crew member to the shoot (i.e. sound, focus puller), or help us improve our equipment to get the best quality picture possible. Plus, Kostas will be editing and creating special FX for up to a year after the shoot (working around his existing jobs), so if we can afford to hire an editor to help and put more VFX artists on board, we can get the whole project done much faster.
We'll be taking crew and equipment from London, NY and Poland to the set in Siatista for the shoot. The funds you donate will go directly to helping us rent a vehicle, buy gas, pay for Chunnel and Ferry tickets, and cover flights for the crew. There's a lot of insurance costs for the travel and the shoot that must be paid up front as well, so everything you can send will add to the safety and security of the whole shoot.
The film is in Greek with some English, and will have subtitles for both.
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